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3 Ways The Right Bank Can Help You Build Your Business

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A community's successes and failures are not felt in isolation. Banks, most notably local and regional banks, have a true investment in the success of the community. They don't stay in business based on one-time fees. What really helps local banks thrive is the same thing that helps the rest of the community—successful members, businessowners, and valued long-term customers.

That means finding a bank connected to your community can be a great resource to help you grow your business. Because strengthening the community is mutually beneficial. Here are three ways the right bank can shape the landscape of small business growth in your community, and thus, help your business grow too.

1. Serving as industry mentors

A study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, 2005 interviewed participants of two major mentoring programs. Results were generally positive. But many participants thought that formal mentoring programs could be improved by "clearer communication of program objectives, better matching, targeted participation in the program, and better program monitoring."

Locally invested banks are in a unique position to do just that. Their access to diverse sections of the local economy combined with their personal and professional motivation for community success make them a prime candidate for improving mentoring programs. A local bank can provide you with additional access to support resources, industry specific mentors, and promotional and operational support. Plus, many topics of business mentoring deal with financial concerns, making banks a logical choice for facilitating these resources as you're trying to start or grow your business.

2. Leading workshops, seminars and other strategy classes

Encouraging business mentoring in the community goes beyond the one-on-one relationships. Local banks also contribute by developing workshops, seminars and other business strategy classes.

This is an opportunity for you to learn successful business practices, marketing strategies, business planning and operations. You can also gain key geographical insight that can help you make smarter, local decisions. Plus, these seminars and workshops can be a great place for you to network and meet other local businessowners who can provide guidance and, potentially, business opportunities.

3. Learning from each other

When knowledge is shared within a community, everyone becomes stronger. Becoming an entrepreneur takes tenacity and business acumen. And a mentoring relationship with your local bank can help you develop skills to overcome many obstacles involved with starting your own business. But these opportunities that banks provide are also beneficial for them.

Local bankers experience personal fulfilment knowing they're helping to shape the business community. It also provides them with increased awareness of local business needs. This valuable perspective gives banks opportunities to identity solutions they can customize for local businessowners—something that's not always easy or quick to do for larger national banks. That ability can help you obtain the right financial solutions that you need to grow and thrive.

In the end, it's not just about the bottom line for local banks. When the whole community thrives it's good for everyone. Promoting mentorship is just one way local and regional banks can help shape communities and help you build your business.

To learn more about Valley Bank and our community development initiatives, visit valley.com or call us at 1-800-Call-VLY.

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